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Getting Along With Your Computer

How to...

This week I’ll show you how to find duplicate photos, move your email to your new computer, and display the Downloads folder right on your Start Menu.

How to find duplicate photos

There are lots of programs that claim to do this. Two good free ones are Awesome Duplicate Photo Finder (http://www.duplicate-finder.com/photo.html) and VisiPics (http://www.visipics.info/index.php?title=Main_Page). Both programs are easy to use. I tested the programs by letting each one scan multiple folders with a total of 3670 pictures for duplicates. I didn’t change the default settings for either program.

Awesome searches for “Similar” pictures. For instance, I often have an original picture and another picture that looks just like it but is smaller in actual size, in file size, or both. Awesome finds these and characterizes them as “Similar” which they are. VisiPics calls these “Duplicates” rather than similar. I don’t really agree that they are duplicates --- they look alike, but they’re different in ways that are important, at least to me.

Both programs work well, and which one you choose is largely a matter of personal taste. Awesome Duplicate Photo took just over 5 minutes to scan, while VisiPics took a little more than to 20 minutes.

I found Awesome’s interface less cluttered and easier to work with when I did this simple experiment. If you want more control over what you’re searching, VisiPics’ interface will probably be better for you. It’s cluttered, but there are lots of choices!

No matter how you go about getting rid of your duplicate photos, I recommend making a complete backup before you start. Even if you don’t take that advice, do have a little program called Recuva on hand. You can get it here: http://www.piriform.com/recuva. There are plenty of times that Windows asks us if we’re sure, and we ARE sure but we are also wrong! Recuva can often correct those mistakes.


How to move your email from one computer to another

Last August (http://rlis.com/columns/column312.htm ) I wrote about backing up your email. One reason you might want to do this, even if you are making regular, full backups of all your important files, is that moving it to a new computer is a fairly straightforward process if you have a discrete backup of your email. That column also links to screen casts that show you how to back up your Outlook Express (http://youtu.be/8xL8-VXtAXw), Windows Mail (http://youtu.be/FjL7GettVu4), and Windows Live Mail (http://youtu.be/hlMIWcMkbhc).

It’s taken me this long to get around to making a screen cast showing you how to import that email, but here it is: http://youtu.be/-9YepRiJbiM.


How to add “Downloads” to your Start Menu

Unless you change a setting in Windows 7, any file you download with Internet Explorer goes to a folder called Downloads. Awesome! But how do you find that folder?

It’s easy to display a link to that folder on the right side of your Start Menu.

  • Right-click on an empty spot on your task bar

  • Click on “Customize”

  • Scroll down until you see the “Downloads” settings

  • Click on “Display as a link”

  • Click on “OK”

When I set up a computer for a customer, I always put Downloads on the Start Menu. It just makes things easier.

Do you need help with your computer? I'm here to help you and your home or business computer get along!

Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna (http://computercarekelowna.com/) a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to [email protected].

You can read previous columns here: http://rlis.com/column.htm . If you'd like to subscribe to this column by email, please visit this link: http://www.feedblitz.com/f/f.fbz?Sub=20618 . It's easy, and free. If you'd prefer the RSS Feed, click here: http://rlis.com/rlis.xml.



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About the author...

Cate Eales has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible and fun for over 20 years. She lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric, and her dog, Sandy. Cate is a partner in Computer Care Kelowna, helping individuals and small businesses with virus, spyware and malware eradication; personal computer training and management; digital image management; music transfer; and website design, hosting and management.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with your comments, suggestions, or questions. To browse the column archives, visit the Real Life Internet Solutions website at www.rlis.com.




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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.


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